a0872409397_16While previous Daniel Bachman records have been great, River feels like the American Primitive guitarist’s first masterpiece. One might’ve expected that for his first LP on the adventurous Three Lobed label, Bachman might indulge some of his more experimental, psych-ier leanings (as heard on this freshly reissued platter from a few years back). Instead, he’s delivered a solo acoustic tour de force that can easily stand proud next to John Fahey’s Days America or Jack Rose’s Kensington Blues. It’s that good.

River leads off with the kaleidoscopic, 14-minute “Won’t You Cross Over To That Other Shore,” one of Bachman’s most ambitious works to date. But ambitious doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s getting flashy and overly complex; the earthy melodies, patient rhythms and resonating tones feel as natural and heartfelt as they come. Same goes for the album’s other lengthy piece, the two-part “Song For The Setting Sun,” a dazzler that features some breathtakingly beautiful playing to accompany its wistful mood.

As those lengthy numbers point towards the guitarist’s future, he also looks respectfully towards the past: River pays heartfelt tributes to two fellow Virginians and kindred musical souls — the aforementioned Jack Rose and 1920s bluesman William Moore.

All in all, the LP is confident and comfortable, while still maintaining the drive and energy of Bachman’s previous efforts. Where he’ll go from here is anyone’s guess. For now, we’ll just enjoy this River‘s flow. words / t wilcox


Peru Bravo: a new 15 track compilation of funk, soul and psych caught in the grip of Peruvian General Juan Velasco Alvarado‘s unflinching military dictatorship between 1968-75. An underground aural tale of a culture in flux. Compiled by Martin Morales, Duncan Ballantyne (Ex-Soundway) & Andrés Tapia del Rio (Repsychled Records).

The Mad’s :: Aouh Aouh
Thee Image :: Outtasite


Lagniappe (la·gniappe) noun ˈlan-ˌyap,’ – 1. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. 2. Something given or obtained as a gratuity or bonus.

On the heels of his debut solo lp, 2014’s Understanding Land, the Lagniappe Sessions return with Jerry David DeCicca. Below, the artist pays tribute to Wooden Wand, Jeb Loy Nichols and mid-80s Bob Dylan, via Empire Burlesque‘s “When The Night Comes Falling From the Sky” — marking Dylan’s fifth appearance in the series. DeCicca, in his own words, below.


Infidels to Time Out of Mind is my favorite period of Dylan — it feels the most feral. This tune, from Empire Burlesque, is another one of his classic meditations lost in its own history.  I took the song out of its minor key (as Dylan did on Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3 with the E Street Band) and stripped it to its skeleton, allowing absence to sheer Uncle Bob’s terrain.

Jerry David DeCicca :: When The Night Comes Falling From the Sky (Bob Dylan)

Jeb Loy Nichols founded UK’s country-dub trio, Fellow Travellers, and is responsible for the Country Got Soul comps that paved the way for Light in the Attic. He makes woodcuts and writes novels. And his solo albums owe a debt to Boz Scaggs, Turley Richards, and Dan Penn. I cut this song, “As the Rain”, with Adrian Sherwood’s 12” remix in mind using my Rhythm King (a similar model to the one used by Sly Stone and J.J. Cale) and a Concertmate 500 to riff on original’s horns. Jeb’s version is incredible – an actual masterpiece – and can be found on his album, Lover’s Knot, and the Goodwill Hunting Soundtrack. Footnote: A 21 year-old-version of me makes an appearance in the video.

Jerry David DeCicca :: As the Rain (Jeb Loy Nichols)

It’s easy to write a lot of songs, but it’s tough to make even one of them good. Wooden Wand writes more great songs than anyone I can think of. His use of language is constantly inventive and engaging and the meat of the song is always substantive and half buried. “Solider Movies” is from Hard Knox album, a murky favorite. There’s something about this song that reminds me of the film Over the Edge.

Jerry David DeCicca :: Soldier Movies (Wooden Wand)

Recorded & mixed at home by JDD, mastered by Jon Chinn.

Lagniappe Sessions Archives / imagery via d norsen.

aquarium_drunkardOur weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard twice every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 389: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Sun Ra – We’re Living In The Space Age ++ Honeyboy Martin & The Voices – Dreader Than Dread ++ Johnny & The Attractions – I’m Moving On ++ Andersons All Stars – Intensified Girls ++ King Sporty – DJ Special ++ Freddie Mackay – When I’m Gray ++ Hopeton Lewis – Sound And Pressure ++ The Upsetters – Popcorn ++ Willie Williams – Armageddon Time ++ Sister Nancy – Bam Bam ++ Nora Dean – Angie La La ++ The Upsetters – Taste Of Killing ++ The Skatalites – Herb Man Dub ++ Lloyd & Glen – That Girl ++ The Jamaicans – Ba Ba Boom ++ Hopeton Lewis – Let Me Come On Home ++ Byron Lee – Hot Reggae ++ Ernest Ranglin – Below The Bassline ++ Errol Dunkley – The Scorcher ++ Los Holy’s – Cissy Strut ++ Slim Smith – Hip Hug ++ The Reggae Boys – Selassie ++ Dave Barker – Funky Reggae ++ Johnny Clarke – Rebel Soldiering ++ Mad A – Aouh Aouh ++ Clarendonians – You Won’t See Me ++ Ebo Taylor – Love And Death ++ Peter King – African Dialects ++ Dorothy Ashby – Soul Vibrations ++ Sun Ra – Angels & Demons ++ Alton Ellis – Whiter Shade of Pale ++ Mor Thiam – Ayo Ayo Nene ++ Fatback Band – Goin’ To See My Baby ++ The Aggravators – Dub Is Shining ++ West African Cosmos – Emeraude ++ Willie Wright – Nantucket Island

*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.


Happy birthday, Sun Ra. Born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1914, the avant-jazz pioneer would be 101 years old today. Keeping with the cosmic, Harte Recordings has released a commemorative 40th Year Anniversary Edition of Sun Ra’s galactic-sploitation epic, Space Is The Place. Multi-faceted, the anniversary edition is comprised of a DVD, book and CD containing restored versions of both the original cut of the film and the uncut version (both with remixed sound), commentary from producer Jim Newman, and Sun Ra & Arkestra home movies. Over forty pages of commentary (with a forward by Ra enthusiast Wayne Coyne), the book provides dozens of unreleased photos, taken on and off set during the making of the film.

The updated soundtrack rounds out with two additional tracks not available on the original release, but present in the film. Below, check out an unreleased (AD exclusive) track from the film.

Sun Ra :: We’re Living In The Space Age

350685f5You may be forgiven for assuming that the five Welsh musicians who call themselves Joanna Gruesome play a generalized, Rat-Finkish version of anti-indie-snobbery punk rock. A Garbage Pail kid come to life clutching a copy of Vice, maybe. Whether it’s their intention or not, that name instantly and inevitably turns them into a caricature; whether that’s fair or not hardly plays into it. That they play an inspired version of cheery, hardcore-inflected pop rock under that banner is so surprising that it almost seems transgressive.

And yet, with Peanut Butter, which follows up 2013’s excellent Weird Sister, it’s hard to think of a name that would better describe what they do. Like Weird Sister, Peanut Butter follows the separate lodestars of Vaselines-style scot-pop and chunky eighties hardcore. But where the former record tried to pilot toward some middle ground between the two, Peanut Butter finds Joanna Gruesome happily blasting sound from both destinations. While they actively eschew the intricate arrangements and obscure instrumentation of their semi-namesake harpist, they do share a complicated sense of melody, and, as with Joanna Newsome, it can be hard to find the point at which their sweetness begins to curdle until it’s too late.


California rain. A totem. More freeform interstitial airwave debris transmitting somewhere off the coast of Los Angeles. This is transmission sixteen.

Direct download, below. The first fifteen transmissions can be found and downloaded, here.

MP3: Sidecar: Transmission / 16

Intro / Shall We Gather At The River
Gene Clark – Tears of Rage
Chris Darrow – Livin’ Like A Fool
Ian Matthews – Seven Bridges Road
Manassas – So Begins The Task
Ellen McIlwaine – Can’t Find My Way Home
David Crosby – I’d Swear There Was Somebody Here
Davy Graham – Both Sides Now (excerpt)
Tim Hardin – If I Were A Carpenter
David Wiffen – You’ll Never Make A Dollar That Way
Michael Martin Murphy – The Lights Of The City

Subscribe to future transmissions via iTunes and/or through the RSS, HERE. Imagery via d norsen.

Ultimate Painting Green LanesIt’s been less than a year since Jack Cooper and James Hoare released their self-titled debut as Ultimate Painting. That album’s gentle, slightly tinted melodies seemed to come to the duo so easily that it’s no surprise they’ve already finished work on its followup, Green Lanes.

Lead single “Break the Chain” continues Hoare and Cooper’s investigations along the border separating the third Velvet Underground record from the simple, soft pop of the early 70s. Hoare and Cooper train their guitars along separate paths, occasionally intersecting before they both cede the spotlight to a dry piano and a vocal line partially culled from “In My Life.” It’s a simple, insistent song whose breeziness obscures how expertly it’s been crafted. Give a listen below.

Green Lanes is out August 7 on Trouble in Mind. Preorder here. words / m garner

Ultimate Painting :: Break the Chain

Related: The Lagniappe Sessions :: Ultimate Painting


Chances are Jim O’Rourke’s name is somewhere in your record collection. As a musician and producer, he’s worked with some of the most important artists and bands of the last three decades: Sonic Youth, Wilco, Bill Callahan, Stereolab, Joanna Newsom, John Fahey, Beth Orton, and dozens more. As a solo artist he’s stayed busy too, balancing varied experimental efforts with knotty singer/songwriter LPs like his 2001 classic Insignificance, utilizing elements of progressive rock, jazz, Americana, and pop to convey his witty, hangdog observations and wisecracks.

In many ways O’Rourke’s new album Simple Songs picks up where 2009’s 38-minute instrumental album The Visitor left off. The new record twists and turns like that one, but here O’Rourke breaks the elements down into shorter song forms, and once again he’s at the microphone, singing over piano pop, orchestral folk, and strutting rock (dig the Steely Dan vibes of “Half Life Crisis”). Recorded at Steamroom Tokyo, O’Rourke’s studio in Tokyo, Japan, where he’s lived since 2005, Simple Songs is an immensely satisfying record, and like O’Rourke’s best, it rewards and unfolds more each listen. Aquarium Drunkard called O’Rourke to discuss the record’s long gestation, O’Rourke’s high school influences, and riff on the “dishonesty of earnest men.”

Aquarium Drunkard: You worked on this record for five years?

Jim O’Rourke: Actually, it was about six years.

AD: How did you spend those six years?

Jim O’Rourke: Well, how it happened was…on the old records I was playing with Glenn Kotche and Darin Gray and [they] were they only people on the planet I could do those records with. It had to be them. When Glenn became “The Glenn Kotche,” deservedly so I mean, it became more and more difficult to get together and work on things. I didn’t want to do that stuff with anyone else, so I didn’t. [Laughs] Until I met [Yamamoto] Tatsuhisa, who plays drums on this record, about six or seven years ago by accident. We just happened to be on the same bill, and it was like a time machine going back to when I first saw Glenn play on stage with Edith Frost. It wasn’t like I all of the sudden said, “Oh, I want to make another band record.” It was that all of the sudden the possibility of doing that was open again. Then I called Sudo [Toshiaki] who plays bass on the record, who’s been a friend of mine for 20 years – he was the original drummer in Melt-Banana. So, I just tried to see what it would be to actually play with drums and bass again, doing my own things. Then when we brought in [pianist] Eiko Ishibashi, who makes her own records for Drag City.

The first two years…I was almost like a drill sergeant. Not like a drill sergeant; it wasn’t like Full Metal Jacket or anything, but I had to get them to play with the particular nuance and the sense of rhythm that I specifically want. It really was a period of getting them to play like…it sounds awful to say, “To play like I had three clones,” because obviously I can’t play drums like him, and I definitely can’t play piano like Eiko, but they had to understand the particular rhythmic feel that’s very specific to me. We took the time to get it to that point. There are versions of this record from the first two years. It’s shocking how different they are, just rhythmically and the feel and everything. The timing, the pacing, the shading — it’s so shockingly different. We just needed that time, and I’d never had that time before with a band.

AD: What was the general reception to your method? Was it a comfortable fit to start?

Jim O’Rourke: They had to get used to how picky I am. It’s not like I’m picky like that movie Whiplash. It’s called Session here in Japan, that movie about the drummer. I haven’t seen it, but I’ve seen a trailer, so I know what it is, and we weren’t doing that. I can be insanely particular, but then ambiguous on purpose. I think they weren’t used to someone being that particular but they didn’t have a problem with it. They’re still around six years later, so they must be okay with it.